Sunday 20 December 2015

Tardy annual

Collaboration elation: never underestimate
the power of three
Amazing how prescient some posts prove to be, eh? Only the merest hint of potential trouble filling in the calendar, but boy did that come true. This year seems to be proving tougher than most. 

Funnily enough, the beer I picked out on Friday would have been pretty easy to handle, it only coming in a small package and not being particularly strong. But by the time I got back from the Christmas party, drinking beer was more or less the last thing on my mind.

Can't say I felt particularly fond of the idea yesterday either. Which leads me to believe I might well be getting a bit old for this malarkey. When I started this calendar, I could still just about shrug off a hangover and cope with at least one beer. Not now, as the evidence of this weekend shows only too well.

I promised myself a fallow year next year and that's increasingly looking like the likely scenario. But since there are only a few more days of this year's left, I'd better start catching up, hadn't I?

Beer: Brew by Numbers/Oersoep/Rooie Dop 3 Is A Magic Number
Strength: A perfectly acceptable 5.5%
Smell: The beer equivalent of pine-fresh Flash
Tasting notes: When the carbonation dies down all too quickly, my heart sinks. This one could be hard work, think I. Not a bit of it. Instantly sharper than a set of Global kitchen knives, this one goes from gooseberry to lemon to grapefruit quicker than you can say: "I wonder how this would go with pancakes?" The lovely thing is, it doesn't need a huge amount of carbonation; it's got all the armoury it needs to spread a delicious citrusy glow throughout your rapidly puckering mouth. Terrific.
Session factor: Shard-like.
Arbitrary score: 3

Saison's greetings: festively fantastic stuff
from the Belgian masters
Beer: Saison Dupont
Strength: A hefty and potentially necessary 6.5%
Smell: Bubblegum that's been left on the bedpost for some considerable time.
Tasting notes: Truly a prince among saisons, this gently wafts a dizzying lacuna between sweet and bitter so that you're never quite sure where to taste it on your tongue. Roll it around your mouth and you're uncertain where it sits best because, frankly, it's lovely anywhere. I had thought my own homebrewed saison was one of the best I'd had this year, but the Belgians know a damn sight more than I do about making this style of beer and it shows here. Subtle and powerful in equal measure, Saison Dupont lets us amateurs know just how far we still have to go to produce something as special as this. If you want a reference point for saison, look no further.
Session factor: Giddyingly high. Another one of those I'd drink many more of if I had them to hand.
Arbitrary score: 301,521

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